We’re thrilled to welcome Maureen from The Speech Bubble SLP to Minds in Bloom today! Maureen has a wonderful guest post all about effective collaboration between the teacher and speech-language pathologist. Enjoy!
These days, you will find at least one child in every classroom that receives speech and language services of some sort. This means that you, as the teacher, will probably have some type of interaction with the school’s Speech-Language Pathologist ( SLP ).
Why is it important?
Tips for General Collaboration
- Find out what your student’s speech and language goals are at the beginning of the year. The SLP will be able to provide you with the information about what their goals are, how they can impact them in the classroom, and what you can do help support them.
- Ask the SLP if they have testing accommodations. Some speech and language difficulties are so severe that the student requires accommodations for work or testing. Make sure you are aware of these at the beginning of the year, or when the student begins services, if the student starts services mid-year.
- Set up a time each week to discuss the student, or students, in your class who are receiving speech services. It doesn’t have to be a lot; a little bit of time can go along way. I recommend at least 10 minutes. Talk about what you are focusing on in class, what lessons and topics are coming up, and if you have noticed the student struggling or succeeding.
- Provide previews of materials you are looking to use in the classroom. The SLP may be able to use the materials in their speech sessions to prep the student for the classroom. Integrating classroom materials into speech therapy is a great way for the student to review the skills they are learning with the speech and language support they need. Likewise, the SLP may have some materials and resources that you may be able to use in your class to help support students, as well as have them make connections and generalize skills.
- Be open to new, out-of-the-box ideas. This goes for both parties. Sometimes scheduling, suggestions, and ideas work out perfectly, and sometimes they don’t. Trial and error is a part of collaboration, so be open to giving all ideas a fair chance.
Speech Services and Collaboration
- Decide on the type of push-in model that works best for the two of you. There are several different models out there to pick from, but don’t be afraid to be creative and make your own if the ones you have looked at and discussed don’t meet your needs. Maybe it is having the SLP push-in and be a “station” for the student to go to during Daily 5™, if your school uses that program.
- Decide if the push-in speech time will be for the IEP student only or if the SLP will be able to incorporate other students with language concerns into the group for RtI.
- Talk about what speech and language goals will be targeted during the push-in speech sessions.
- Again, finding a few minutes to touch base and do a little planning each week is key to having things run smoothly.
- Discuss what everyone’s roles and expectations will be. What will each person be in charge of in the room when the SLP is providing services? If the SLP is building off of information from a lesson, will they be in charge of reteaching information during the session if the student doesn’t understand something? Who will be in charge of prepping classroom materials for the speech students to use during the push-in services? Getting these matters sorted out ahead of time will save you a lot of time and sanity!